Federal regulators have approved the start of construction on all but a small portion of Summit Midstream Partners LP’s 135-mile Double E natural gas pipeline that would connect Permian Basin supplies to the Gulf Coast.

Double E

Summit CEO Heath Deneke touted the “efficiency with which this project has achieved its key milestones” and confirmed the pipeline’s expected 2021 in-service before the end of this year.

“Our world-class development team has maintained its focus on delivering the Double E project on time and under budget and has been instrumental in advancing the project and taking another step toward start-up,” Deneke said.

In its Tuesday notice to proceed order, FERC said general construction activities associated with Double E may proceed, except for nine milepost ranges along Lines L100, T100 and T200. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said no construction activities would be permitted in those areas until the pipeline “requests follow-up permission to construct in these areas” and they are approved.

Houston-based Summit sanctioned Double E in June 2019 to transport 1.35 Bcf/d from the Permian’s Delaware sub-basin to the Waha hub in West Texas and beyond. The midstreamer moved forward with the project after securing “sufficient” binding commitments for long-term, firm transportation service to various receipt points in New Mexico’s Eddy and Lea counties and the West Texas counties of Loving, Ward, Reeves and Pecos. 

From Waha, Double E would connect with “multiple current and planned takeaway pipelines” to demand centers south, according to Summit.

ExxonMobil, an anchor shipper, has a 30% stake in the project. Double E is the second joint venture between Summit and ExxonMobil. ExxonMobil’s XTO Energy Inc. and Summit teamed up in 2017 to develop and operate an associated gas gathering and processing system to serve Permian operators in New Mexico.

FERC, which authorized Double E in October, said the pipeline also is authorized to implement “project cultural resources treatment plans/mitigation measures, including archaeological data recovery.” 

Summit indicated that Double E has been granted the necessary rights-of-way on federal lands from the Department of the Interior’s Bureau of Land Management and has entered into memorandums of agreement regarding treatment and mitigation measures at certain cultural resource sites with FERC and the state historic preservation officers of New Mexico and Texas.